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string orchestra

Commission: Vancouver New Music

To Giorgio Magnanensi

Réfraction was commissioned by Vancouver New Music for a conceptual concert on “Song”. The fundamental quality of a song is its lyrical potential. In Réfraction, I explore lyricism not through melody but through color and texture.

In the phenomenon of refraction, the direction of propagation of a sound or light wave, its medium shifts, is exceptionally dynamic. The exploration of a wide variety of colors is rendered by the string orchestra with the simple rubbing of the bow on the strings and via pizzicato, vibrato, tremolo and natural and artificial harmonics. The rapid succession of these techniques allowed me to explore the complexity of refraction and to express the surprising and lyrical poetry of its textures.

This work is constructed from a simple chord progression, without modulation, interspersed with unisons and octaves. The basic material is present throughout the work, but the variations and transformations are unpredictable.

Réfraction seeks to express an unsentimental music that aspires to the beauty that is simply expressed in nature.

In 2018 it was selected for the Canadian section of the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) in Beijing, China.